Are We In The “Enlightened Age” Yet?
Kant wrote the essay, “An Answer to the Question: What is Enlightenment” in 1784 and the issue of enlightenment still exists. When this was written, Kant wrote, “If it is now asked, ‘Do we presently live in an enlightened age?’ the answer is, ‘No, but we do live in an age of enlightenment.’ As matters now stand, a great deal is still lacking in order for men as a whole to be, or even to put themselves into a position to be able without external guidance to apply understanding confidently to religious issues.” (524). He continues on to say that things holding back enlightenment are diminishing.
This was written about the 1700’s, but I believe it is still true today. One of the issues of being an enlightened age is freedom and having lots of it. But, in today’s society, we still have a lot of restrictions to living. We have laws and law enforcers and teachers of any sort and preachers and so on. With the combination of lack of freedom and people telling us how things are, it is difficult to be enlightened or be an enlightening figure. Thus, even with the restrictions of being enlightening figures diminishing, we still have a long way to go to have been an enlightened age. Kant thought this a few centuries ago and if we still have a long time to go, the time we become an enlightened age is far in the future.
But another question still remains, is it even possible to get to total freedom without some people having some order of some sort of you? I do not think its possible because this world has developed more and more and that means more laws to get more freedoms. Since we have laws from before, it requires new laws to be formed to add onto them or to remove their effects. Also, as more freedoms come, new ideas of what should be restricted come about. Also, as people become more enlightened about the world and become enlightening people, more discoveries need to be made, so, more enlightening events are needed and come about.